25 October 2014
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Maths degree courses

A qualification in mathematics is highly sought after by many employers and will always count in a job seekers favour. The overall aim of the degree course is to help students to obtain a working knowledge of the most important mathematical techniques and also enhance their employment prospects in a wide range of fields such as finance, banking, accountancy, scientific research and teaching.

Course overview
This is a demanding yet rewarding course that will show students how maths is used in the real world. It is an ideal subject for anyone who already has a lively interest in mathematics and for those who enjoy solving difficult and outstanding mathematical problems.

Central to the study of higher mathematics is the notion of proof and for the first year of the course, the emphasis is on developing the essential knowledge, techniques and skills required to do this. Other early areas of focus may include fields such as learning how to set-up and implement mathematical models, selecting appropriate methods of solutions and interpreting results

In the second and final years of the course students will build on the concepts which they have studied previously. To the central core of maths they can add optional modules in fields such as probability and statistics, chaos theory, statistical inference and Newtonian dynamics.
 
A degree in mathematics remains a solid springboard for career opportunities and advancement in many industries.


It provides a stimulating and challenging opportunity to study advanced topics and undertake a more in-depth research into areas like; pure and applied mathematics, errors and misconceptions in mathematics, geometry, vector calculus and group theory. Apart from covering these main core areas most courses tend to be quiet flexible in offering an exceptionally wide range of other modules to choose from.

Courses tend to focus strongly on the applications of mathematics, with the overall objective of the programme being to assist students in mastering the subject at an advanced level. This includes learning about the logic and assumptions that underpin arithmetic and algebraic processes as well as mathematical computer software packages.

A sample of the modules and course content studied on a maths degree programme

  • Pure mathematics
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Computer algebra, chaos and simulations
  • Mathematical statistics
  • Mathematical logic
  • Number theory
  • Applications of probability
  • Applied mathematics
  • Algebraic topology
  • Statistics
  • Differential equations
  • Introduction to geometry
  • Algebra and graph theory
  • Linear Algebra
  • Mathematics by computer
  • Probability
  • Experimental maths
  • Metric Spaces
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Coding and Cryptography
  • Financial mathematics
  • Algebraic quantum theory
  • Commutative algebra
  • Computational spectral theory
  • Super symmetry
  • Statistical modelling
  • Data interpretation
  • The foundations of calculus
  • Numerical and computational modelling
  • Mathematical methods
  • Mathematical processes for finance
  • Logic and set theory
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Numerical analysis
  • Operational research
  • Graphs theory and applications
  • Time series and forecasting
  • Advanced abstract Algebra
  • Statistical reasoning
  • Statistical problem solving

Skills you will learn on a maths degree course

  • Data management
  • Self-study
  • Independent working skills
  • Communicate the results clearly in writing
  • Methods for solving differential equations


Maths personal statement

Below is a personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.

Maths personal statement example 1

"There’s a lot more to maths than what people think, for a start its in many of the things around us, meaning that a understanding of it will always be needed. At school I was always good at maths and found it to be a challenging subject that mentally woke me up. I was also attracted to it by the long list of possible careers available to you if you have a maths degree, potential fields include; statistics, cryptography, teaching and computer science. I firmly believe that having this qualification under my belt is something that in the future will make me stand out from other prospective applicants when applying for a job. Its primarily because of all of these reasons that I want to continue studying it at a higher level.

Although algebra is by far my most favourite module and is the area of maths that I am most keen to work in, I also want to learn how maths is used in real life situations and look at the practical applications of mathematics. I’m particularly interested in discovering the extensive use of maths used in the financial world and banking systems.

Mathematicians have a passion for what they do and tend to inhabit a close knit community. To me this has its advantages, for if you are surrounded by eager like minded people then its almost inevitable that some of their enthusiasm will rub off on you. Learning together as part of a group and trying to help each other out during the course is just as important as studying on your own. Its possible to learn from other students as well as lecturers!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at college and the maths department played a big part in that. The staff were first rate teachers and the resources were fantastic, all of this coupled with small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere also helped improve my transferable skills such as problem solving, logical thinking and carrying out research. I left college with my love for mathematics still intact and an ability to think about things in a different way.

Although algebra is by far my most favourite module and is the area of maths that I am most keen to work in, I also want to learn how maths is used in real life situations and study the practical applications of mathematics. I’m eager to uncover the vital, often unseen role it plays in many aspects of modern life, for example commerce, engineering and the sciences.

On a personal level I feel that I now have the required direction, confidence, motivation to enrol at university. I am looking to join a maths degree course where lecturers will focus on the importance of maths and are willing to go over things until a student understands them.

Maths at your university seems to have a lot of flexibility throughout most of the programmes, allowing students to choose modules which they are really interested in. It was this along with your universities great professional placement scheme that helped me make up my mind and apply to your university. Other points that appealed to me about your institution include the relaxed atmosphere it has which I feel will make it easier for me to make friends and adjust to living away from home. All in all I feel that your course will give me a excellent platform to launch my career from and prepare me socially, academically and professionally for the big world."

 

Mathematics personal statement

Example 2

"You cannot learn real mathematics by simply going to lectures and watching the teacher give a lesson. It’s a subject that you have to participate in and be mentally involved with. In a nutshell it’s a subject that you have to work really hard at to fully understand and appreciate. 

Mathematics has an influence on our lives and the society we live in. Virtually all of our creature comforts, mobile phones, computers and virtually all electronic devices would not work without mathematics. At some point in their development and manufacture a mathematician will have had an input into their design and development.

I am attracted to it because unlike other degree courses you cannot just memorise formulas, dates, times and facts and expect to pass. To me it’s a subject that encourages a person to think very logically about problems, and it teaches students to be precise in their thoughts and words. Although it’s a hard subject to learn, I find it really enjoyable and interesting, I look forward to the challenge of mathematical problems, and get great satisfaction and excitement from solving them. I like its clarity and the feeling I get when I am proven right about a particular point.

It can also lead to many rewarding professional careers in both the public and private sectors. These days many employers expect employees to possess basic and higher level maths skills, meaning that mathematics graduates are very much in demand in virtually all industries and sectors.

I am a person who can use logical thought to see and formulate a problem in a way which demands computation and decision, then finally to come to a conclusion from any assumptions I have made. In my opinion calculators do not always have the answers, sometimes a human mind is required to think about and solve mathematical problems.

I posses excellent numeracy skills, coupled with an ability to work accurately and logically. My communication skills are well defined, and I am able to present complex information in an understandable and concise manner, allowing me to clearly explain my calculations to people who may not have a comprehensive understanding of mathematics.

Over the summer months I have worked voluntarily as a assistant to a maths teacher at a local community centre. There I felt I was making a real difference to the learning of children by helping out with preparing classes, helping pupils to understand equations, and trying to keep the subject interesting.

At college, where I studied mathematics at A level, I learnt about its pattern and structure, its logical analysis, deduction, and how to calculate within formulas. I worked on projects where I had to trawl through huge amounts of data, utilise formulas and come to conclusions by using equations. Through all of this number crunching, quantum mechanics, statistics and the balancing out of numbers for equations, I came to the conclusion that everyone studies differently and there is no one right way to study for a math class. I left college with a clear understating of the processes and techniques required for listening, understating, taking notes, completing coursework on time and revising properly for exams.

Right now I am eager to study a wide range of topics and methods within this subject. I have a thirst for discovering more, and want to be taught at a university where cutting edge research is carried out and where I will be invigorated mentally.

On a recent visit to your university I found your mathematics department to be small and friendly, where lecturers worked hard to get to know each and every student by name, and offered advice that was individual to the students needs. I feel that your university likes to promote a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, where undergraduates are comfortable to learn and ask questions. I was impressed by the way in which lectures were held, with everyone being given plenty of time to practise and question what they had learnt. On top of this I also found your library well stocked, with multiple copies of the most popular books, thereby saving students from having to go out and purchase books. Online your university provides numerous journals and resources, that are available to study 24/7. All of these points combined, has convinced me that your institution is the place for me." 


More maths personal statement examples

Typical university interview questions

Why did you choose our university?

Answers

  • Your institution has a superb learning environment.
  • Your course offers the opportunity to study a wide range of topics and methods within the subject.

Why do you want to study maths?

Answers

  • I find it a very interesting and enjoyable subject to study.
  • I get a great deal of satisfaction out of solving mathematical problems.
  • A degree in mathematics provides you with a broad range of skills in problem solving, logical reasoning and flexible thinking.


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